Contact: Battalion Chief Brad Fraizer
Office 573-874-7557 8am - 5pm
PRIVATE MEDIA SHOWING
Joe 'Tiger' Patrick just arrived in Columbia on his walk across the United States and will provide a private showing of his memorial panel at Columbia fire station 1 this afternoon at 4pm for local media. Fire station one is located at 201 Orr Street. This showing is for local media only. There will be a public display tomorrow at fire station one at a time that is yet to be determined.
Joe "Tiger" Patrick II (born July 30, 1963) is a Rhode Island Army veteran. During his almost 10 years in uniform, Patrick served in Operation Desert Storm. After the 9/11 attacks, Patrick volunteered for 3 weeks at Ground Zero. During the time at Ground Zero, Patrick developed an affinity for firefighters. In 2011 Patrick completed a memorial walk. The purpose was to honor the families and loved ones of those lost, as well as the first responders in the 9/11 attacks. Currently, Patrick is walking across the United States to increase awareness of the U.S. service member casualties resulting from the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, a journey that is expected to take 6 months and began in April 2013.
A walk for U.S. service members killed in the war
Patrick, carrying a memorial panel that he created, is walking alone across the country, an endeavor that he is calling "Faces of our Fallen". Patrick's journey began in San Diego, California and he plans to conclude in Washington, D.C. at the Walter Reed Hospital. The panel displays images of 6,655 U.S. service members who were killed while fighting the global war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Patrick began his latest walk on 27 April 2013 with a public display of the mosaic memorial panel that accompanies him cross country. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5447 Imperial Beach was the starting point for this journey. Patrick selected this start point in recollection of the many Navy Seals stationed at the nearby Naval Amphibious Base on Coronado Island. This Naval Amphibious Base suffered multiple casualties before and during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. On 29 April 2013 in Imperial Beach County, San Diego, California, Patrick started his cross country journey carrying the 200 square foot panel. He spreads out the panel to display the faces of the service men and women killed in combat, each time he stops. In addition to the panel, he is carrying a bat used by Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox second baseman). Along the way, wounded veterans are given the opportunity to autograph the bat, and the plan is to auction it off upon completion of the trip (proceeds to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project). Additionally, a fireman's "turn out" coat from Union Fire Co. #1 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, (where he spent time seeking shelter from Hurricane Irene), is being signed by firefighters met along the way, and Patrick plans to donate the coat to the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
The 3,000 mile walk across the United States is projected to take 6 months and he is listening to music, audio books, and radio broadcasts of the Red Sox games along the way. He rests in the evenings at Firehouses, VFW Posts and American Legions; he calls ahead of time to the fire stations along the way asking them to attend a presentation and for a place to sleep for the night. While he was home in Rhode Island for a week to attend the Special Olympics, Rhode Island the panel was placed on display at the South Kingstown Elks Lodge. He plans to visit the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia.
The memorial panel
The memorial panel was sewn together after Patrick researched for a year and a half. He reviewed and confirmed the list of U.S. casualties at militarytimes.com and The Washington Post. Joe "Tiger" Patrick says the purpose of the panel is to give a "close up view to those lost" and "to provide people with the opportunity to see the faces behind the numbers."